Doc­toral Stu­dent, FOSTER Pro­ject

Helsinki, Finland
01 Jun 2021
End of advertisement period
23 Jun 2021
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Doctoral student (Effects of forest landscape structure to browsing damages caused by moose)

The University of Helsinki is the largest university in Finland, which seeks solutions for global challenges and creates new ways of thinking for the best of humanity. We are one of the best multidisciplinary universities in the world and our community of c. 8 000 employees offers wide ranging career development opportunities in teaching and research as well as in specialist and other support positions.

The Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry is located on the Viikki campus. The mission of the faculty is to promote the sustainable use of renewable natural resources through scientific research and research-based teaching. We focus on agricultural and forest sciences, food and nutrition, microbiology, as well as on economics and management. We cover the full natural resource chain from farm to fork, the entire field of forest sciences from soil chemistry to marketing, as well as the environmental effects of related activities. Graduates from the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry are versatile experts in biosciences and business, able to meet the needs of both the business sector and society at large.

The Department of Forest Sciences is one of the units of the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry with a staff of about 100 persons. The Department conducts internationally recognized forest research and provides the highest-level education based on the research. The focus areas of research are forest ecology, forest resource management and forest economics, business and policy. Multidisciplinary activities include education, research and societal impact in the fields of sustainability and sustainable use of forests. The Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry provides BSc and MSc degrees and doctoral degrees in the University’s doctoral programs. Department’s study programs consists of about 350 graduate students and 60 postgraduate students. The Department is active in society, and has strong and long-term collaboration with research institutes and other Universities, government agencies, companies and other organizations nationally and internationally.

The Department of Forest Sciences invites applications for the position of a


to a full-time position between 16.8.2021–28.2.2023. The starting date can be agreed with the candidate and the contract may be extended depending on conditional funding to be applied during the project.

The position is a part of the FOSTER project funded by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. The position is specifically related to a workpackage ”Effects of forest landscape structure to browsing damages caused by moose”, which is led by Professor Jari Vauhkonen and implemented in a close cooperation with Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke). The aim of the workpackage is to prepare and evaluate regional scenarios on how future browsing damages caused by moose evolve as a function of the development of forest resources and moose population size.

The doctoral student will review moose browsing and its effects to forest damages based on existing research knowledge, and parameterize forest development models according to this information. The main modeling tool is the European Forestry Dynamics Model (EFDM) of the European Commission, augmented by a forest seedling stand damage model developed by Luke. This modeling framework is to be further developed by modelling tree growth and quality reductions and their impacts to wood production, economics, and carbon sequestration. The work can be complemented by studying possibilities to parameterize forest modeling tools working with different principles (e.g. iLand, CBM and MELA frameworks) for the above purposes.

The doctoral student will participate to research tasks described above and commits to preparing a doctoral thesis on the research topics of the project. The position includes teaching and other duties at most 5 % of annual working time. The salary of the successful candidate will be based on levels 2–3 of the demands level chart for teaching and research personnel in the salary system of Finnish universities. The salary will be between 2200–2500 €/month, depending on the qualifications and experience of the candidate. A six month trial period will be applied. The position is located at the Department of Forest Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry at Viikki campus (Latokartanonkaari 27, 00790 Helsinki).


The candidate should have a MSc or similar degree from a field relevant to the position and motivation to carry out postgraduate studies on the topic. The successful candidate must have a right to pursue studies leading to a doctoral degree from the Helsinki University, or this right must be successfully applied during the trial period.

An ideal candidate has hands-on experience on modeling the development of forest resources and knowledge of moose, other browsing herbivores or game species; and their population and habitat traits. The exact scope of the work can be customized according to candidate’s interests and knowledge. The research work is carried out as a part of a project group, which calls for good interaction skills. The results are reported in scientific journals, which call for a good command of written English and ability to work independently.


Application should include the following documents as a SINGLE PDF file:

  1. A cover letter describing the applicant’s research interests and motivation towards the current position,
  2. A CV including names and contract information of two academically matured persons who can act as referees of the applicant, and
  3. Copies (and English translations, if needed) of the degree certificates.

Applications must be submitted through the University’s electronic recruitment system by clicking on the link below. Current employees of the University of Helsinki must submit their applications through the SAP HR portal (link in Flamma).

The deadline for applications is 23.6.2021.

  • For further information about the position, please contact Professor Jari Vauhkonen:
  • For further information on the recruitment process (incl. the recruitment portal), please contact HR Coordinator Sari Aaltonen (

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Due date

23.06.2021 23:59 EES